ITHACA, N.Y. – Senior Zachary D'Apolito (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley Senior) of The University of Scranton wrestling team won twice to advance to the semifinals at 184 pounds at the NCAA Mideast Regional at Ithaca College on Saturday.
A win in the semifinals on Sunday would secure a spot at nationals for D'Apolito. A top-three finish is required to advance to nationals. He will take on top-seeded Jake Ashcroft of Ithaca in the semifinal.
D'Apolito is one of six Royals still alive in the event. The other five are still in contention in the consolation bracket in their weight classes, and all still have a chance to finish third and advance to nationals.
Senior Nicholas DePierro (Manalapan, N.J./Freehold Township) reached the quarterfinals at 133 with a technical fall victory in his first match. But a loss dropped him into the consolation bracket, where he rebounded with a win by major decision. He will need three straight wins on Sunday to finish third.
At 149 pounds, sophomore T.J. Conlon (Long Branch, N.J./Long Branch) had a second-period pin to advance to the quarterfinals. But a loss there moved him to the consolation bracket, where he advanced with a 9-7 decision. He also needs three straight wins Sunday to finish third.
Junior Kevin Merle (Stroudsburg, Pa./Belvidere) continued his strong season at 165 pounds, opening with a second-period pin to reach the quarterfinals, where he lost to the second seed. In the consolation bracket, he stayed alive with a 6-4 decision and will also need three consecutive wins Sunday for a third-place finish.
Junior Daniel D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) advanced to the quarterfinals at 197 with a pair of byes, but suffered a 6-2 loss. He rebounded with an 8-4 decision in the consolation bracket to remain alive. He also needs three straight wins Sunday to secure third.
And at 285 pounds, sophomore Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) reached the quarterfinals with a third-period pin, but lost to second-seeded James Bethel of Oneonta State. In the consolation bracket, Connelly won by decision, 8-4, and also needs three straight victories Sunday to finish third.
As a team, the Royals are currently in 11th place with 33 points. Ithaca leads the team standings with 82.5 points.
Action on Sunday begins at 10 a.m. For live updates or more information, visit http://athletics.ithaca.edu/sports/2018/2/1/2018-ncaa-wrestling-mideast-regional-portal.aspx.